Bruce K. Young died suddenly and of natural causes on Jan. 22 at his home in Madison, N.Y. He was 86.

A native of Syracuse, Bruce was one of two children born to the late Eugene D. and Mabel D. Young. He was predeceased July 26, 2015 by his sister, Marion Jaquin of Syracuse and Cape Vincent, N.Y. A graduate of Onondaga Valley Academy in 1948, Bruce served in the U.S. Air Force for two enlistments, ending in 1957. Trained as an aircraft mechanic, he never forgot the beauty of his post at Andersen AFB on Guam, fondly reminiscing about the island’s tropical sun, pristine beaches, dramatic cliffs, and deep, brilliant blue ocean.

His family and countless friends remember Bruce as a gentle man whose mellow nature belied a mischievous sense of humor. As a child, he cultivated his mechanical aptitude by loading a small cannon with dynamite charges pilfered from the local railroad yard to blow holes in the back of the family’s garage. There were no casualties.

In a career with IBM that spanned over 25 years, Bruce worked as a field engineer and technical writer/editor in both Endicott and Armonk, N.Y. His precocious mechanical abilities were honed through his passions for tinkering with automobiles, including a classic Cadillac and a sedate 1980 Volvo 264 that he retrofitted with a powerful Mustang engine, as well as model airplanes. In recent years, he derived a great deal of satisfaction by posting about his years of Volvo ownership as a frequent online contributor to the Brickboard, where he was known as Still Lucid.

He dabbled in art and music, sketching and painting in oils, playing both clarinet and guitar, and enjoying an eclectic range of music. His favorite playlist would include big bands from the 1920s and 1930s, folk music, Dixieland tunes from Syracuse’s own Salt City Five, and the New Orleans band Tuba Skinny’s distinctive traditional jazz.

An animal lover with a particular fondness for felines, many animal rescue organizations benefited from Bruce’s modest but heartfelt donations. Predeceased by his beloved cats Misty and Zoe, his current pair, Patrick the Great and Queso, will undoubtedly miss the hours that their very own Cat Whisperer spent catering to their every need.

One of Bruce’s favorite destinations was Martha’s Vineyard, where his daughter Sarah has lived and worked as an artisan and designer of beaded jewelry for the past two decades. Together, often several times a year, they explored not only the Vineyard but the nearby Elizabeth Islands as well. Friends there will miss the pleasure of his annual visits.

Bruce is survived by three children from his first marriage in 1957 to Nancy Ann Butler: Sarah Young of Martha’s Vineyard; Ted Young, his former wife Sandra, and their children Chris and Therez of Middletown, N.Y.; and Dan Young of Madison, N.Y. He is also survived by five nieces: Deb, Donna, Lori, Teri and Marni.

Plans are being made for a springtime celebration of his life. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in Bruce’s name to the animal shelter or spay-neuter program of your choice.